National survey on patient's fears before a general surgery procedure

Cir Esp. 2015 Dec;93(10):643-50. doi: 10.1016/j.ciresp.2014.09.009. Epub 2015 Feb 2.
[Article in English, Spanish]


Objective: To assess the magnitude of the different causes of anxiety in patients and families, facing surgery.

Methods: Cross-sectional multicenter national survey recruiting 1,260 participants between patients and companions, analyzing the impact of 14 areas selected based on scientific publications aimed at the general public, concerning patients and/or companions, focused on concern about surgery. Patient sex, age, type of surgery (minor/major) and expected inpatient or ambulatory surgery were analyzed. For the companions sex and age, and relationship to patient were analyzed. In both cases it was assessed based on a unidimensional scale of 0 to 10, with 0 being be minimal cause for concern and 10, maximum.

Results: The most prominent have been the fear of the unknown, possible complications, the impact on quality of life, the accuracy of diagnosis and possible malignancy of the disease, as well as anesthesia and pain control. There are significant differences in the involvement of patients and companions; and are also differences by sex and age of the patient; type of surgery (minor/major) and expected hospital admission or not.

Conclusions: The patient faces surgery with a number of fears that can be reduced with increased information.

Keywords: Acompañantes; Cirugía; Companions; Encuesta; Fear; Intervención; Intervention; Pacientes; Patients; Surgery; Survey; Temor.

MeSH terms

  • Anxiety
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Fear*
  • Humans
  • Quality of Life
  • Surveys and Questionnaires